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Are Border Collies Hypoallergenic? Breed & Allergy Facts Explained

Written by: Jessica Kim

Last Updated on July 9, 2024 by Dogster Team

lilac border collie dog lying down on the grass at the park

Are Border Collies Hypoallergenic? Breed & Allergy Facts Explained

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REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

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Border Collies are extremely active and fun dogs that often become beloved companion animals for many individuals and families. While these dogs can add more excitement to your life, they’re not a hypoallergenic breed. Border Collies tend to shed more than the average dog, and their active temperaments can end up exacerbating allergy symptoms.

Border Collies offer a fun challenge for experienced dog owners because of their high intelligence and need for consistent mental stimulation. They have significant needs, so it is important to understand what you’d be getting yourself into before bringing one home.

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What Causes Dog Allergies?

Many people believe that dog allergies are caused by dog hair. However, people who are allergic to dogs are actually having a reaction to a certain protein that they produce. This protein can be found in dog dander. The reason high-shedding dogs cause more frequent or severe allergic reactions is that their hair carries dander. As a dog sheds and leaves more hair on carpets, furniture, and clothing, they’re distributing more pet dander, which triggers allergies.

The protein that causes allergies is also found in dog saliva and urine. So, people often get allergic reactions if a dog licks them or they pet an area of a dog’s body that the dog had recently self-groomed with their tongue.

Therefore, it’s important to remember that there’s no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog. Breeders who claim that their dogs are completely hypoallergenic are being misleading, as all dogs shed to a certain extent, which causes them to spread dander. All dogs also produce saliva and urine.

Why Border Collies Aren’t Hypoallergenic

border collie red dog outdoors grooming
Image By: Alona Slostina, Shutterstock

Border Collies have double coats. Their topcoat is typically coarser and their undercoat is denser and functions to keep them warm and regulate their body temperature. Due to the nature of their double coats, Border Collies require weekly brushing to pick up any dead hairs in the topcoat and undercoat and prevent tangling and matting.

Border Collies also have shedding seasons in the spring and fall, and they will shed even more than usual during these seasons. Shedding seasons can be particularly difficult for people with dog allergies because the increased amount of loose hair is sure to distribute a lot more dander around the house.

Since Border Collies are highly active dogs, they can also unintentionally attract other common allergens. For example, if a Border Collie enjoys running around in grassy areas, they can trap grass, dust, and pollen in their thick double coat while they’re playing outside and can bring them into the home. This can contribute to exacerbating seasonal allergies.

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Ways to Reduce Shedding in Border Collies

While it’s impossible to prevent Border Collies from shedding completely, there are some things that you can do to reduce the amount of shedding that you see in your home. First, make sure to stay on top of brushing your dog. Brushing helps to reduce shedding by proactively picking up loose and dead hairs so that they don’t land on your clothes or furniture. It also helps distribute natural oils throughout the skin, which helps keep the skin moisturized and healthy.

If you notice that your Border Collie’s coat is feeling particularly dry or brittle, you can try adding a skin and coat supplement to their diet. This type is typically made with fish oil, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help moisturize the skin and strengthen individual hair roots on the coat. Having a healthy coat can reduce shedding because the hair is stronger and less likely to break off. It’s also important to keep a dog’s skin moisturized because this will prevent dryness and flaky skin. Dogs with healthy skin are less likely to lick themselves because they have less skin irritation.

sad and worried border collie dog lying on a wood floor
Image By: Elayne Massaini, Shutterstock

Border Collies aren’t a breed that’s known to require frequent baths. Most Border Collies will only need a bath every 2 to 3 months as long as they don’t get into any messes. Overbathing a Border Collie can cause stress on their skin and coat and cause over-drying. This will inevitably lead to hair loss and skin irritation, which will only cause more pet dander to be distributed throughout your home.

Lastly, make sure that your Border Collie is finding plenty of mental stimulation and exercise. Border Collies are one of the smartest dog breeds and require a lot of daily challenges to keep their minds active and prevent boredom. Bored Border Collies will eventually engage in destructive behaviors and can also experience stress. Stress can then affect the condition of their skin and coat by triggering anxiety, excessive self-grooming, and hair loss.

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Allergy-Friendly Dog Breeds

If you or someone in your family has minor dog allergies, it may be possible for you to live with a dog that sheds less. Dogs with single coats tend to shed less than dogs with double coats, and they don’t usually experience a shedding season. Here are some dog breeds that are known to be a better fit for allergy sufferers:

Poodle mixes are hybrid dog breeds that have one Poodle parent and a parent of another dog breed. These dogs are often bred to reduce the amount of shedding, as Poodles shed minimally. Just keep in mind that not all Poodle mixes have hypoallergenic coats. It depends on which coat the dog inherits from their parents. So, a Poodle mix isn’t guaranteed to have a low-shedding coat.

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Conclusion

Border Collies are not hypoallergenic dogs because they tend to shed a lot, and their active natures can end up attracting more outdoor allergens into your home. While there are some things you can do to help reduce shedding, Border Collies are not the right fit for your home if you or someone in your family suffers from dog allergies.

Fortunately, there are dogs of all sizes and temperaments that tend to be better for people with allergies. So, it doesn’t hurt to get to know other low-shedding dog breeds that might be a better fit for your home and lifestyle.


Featured Image Credit: Susan McQuade, Shutterstock

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